Update: It appears that the mysterious new controller could be revealed much sooner than we first thought.
On the original FCC application, a note read that all confidential material had an expiry date of 16th March 2022 (more details on that can be found in our original article below). This has now been changed, however, with Nintendo opting to have the application's confidentiality expire on 24th September 2021, potentially spelling an official reveal at some point this week.
As explained by OatmealDome, the original application still shows the old date, but the new date can be spotted here.
Original Article (Thu 16th Sep, 2021 14:40 BST): A new FCC application suggests that a brand new Nintendo Switch controller may well be on the way, and it looks like it could be unveiled in the very near future.
As spotted by Twitter user @SamusHunter2, the application is simply labelled as 'Nintendo Game controller' and was published for the first time today, 16th September 2021. FCC IDs are assigned to devices registered with the United States Federal Communications Commission and are required to legally sell a wireless device in the country.
Applied for by Nintendo Co., Ltd, the new product's FCC ID is 'BKEHAC043', which gives us our first clue as to what the product could be. 'HAC' is the code used for all Nintendo Switch products (the Switch itself has 'HAC-001' written on the back, the left Joy-Con is 'HAC-015', Ring Fit Adventure's Ring-Con is 'HAC-022', and so on), proving that 'HAC-043', a section of the ID chosen by the applicant, is referring to something Switch-related.
So we know the filing has been prepared for a new Switch controller, but what could that controller be? Two options immediately jump to mind, the first being a new controller designed for use with Nintendo Switch Online.
Intriguingly, the official SNES controller for Switch, designed for use with Switch Online's SNES app, has the product code 'HAC-042'. Could 'HAC-043' be the next in line – perhaps an N64-inspired controller, or a Game Boy-style option to go alongside the recent rumours? Perhaps for another system entirely?
The second option that seems relatively plausible is a new Pro Controller that could launch alongside the Switch OLED next month, perhaps adding to Switch's recent Bluetooth audio update by finally offering a controller with a headphone jack or other new features. Of course, all of this is purely speculation on our part for now – we'll have to wait and see what the product turns out to be.
As for when we'll learn more, well, hopefully that won't be too long away. The application's confidential material has an expiry date of 16th March 2022, meaning the FCC will no longer be obliged to hide information relating to it from that date. It's safe to assume we'll hear about whatever the controller is sometime before then.
Intrigued? Feel free to share your thoughts on what this controller could be in the comments below.